in the eye of a hurricane there is quiet

Almost 20 years ago now, I was in the audience at a private graduation event where the parents of graduating seniors were sharing about their child at this milestone of their life. ⁠

One mom, a quiet, diminutive woman who I'd come to know only in passing, walked up to the microphone, standing next to her towering adolescent son & started to read a poem she'd written about motherhood... particularly about her Fierce Mother Love.⁠

As she read, I could see my mom's face as clear as day. ⁠

Her teaching me to break-in my mitt in elementary school... husker's oil massaged in & with the leather taped around a ball, baked in the oven for what seemed like weeks.⁠

Her sitting behind the wheel curbside while I sold beef jerky & cookies & subscriptions & all sorts of other things door to door each & every year, for every jersey I wore.⁠

Her walking like John Wayne into the principal's office when I was in high school-- a teacher & I had come to an impasse that my mom wasn't going to let go lightly. That moment when she put her pointer finger on the desk, looked him in the eye & told him who I would grow to be... that moment likely formed me more than any other moment in the whole of my life. ⁠

So now, when I am in the midst of parenting & it feels like it's at some sort of cross-section of formidable but formative, I whisper to myself that this is my moment for some Fierce Mother Love... worded by the quiet one, but modeled by a hurricane all my own.